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Print Lobbyist Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.31

     challenging words:    policymakers, professionalism, lobbyist, corruption, loophole, legislator, enact, legislation, policies, testify, federal, influence, financial, winning, constitution, internship
     content words:    Princeton Review, American Association, Retired Persons

By Phyllis Naegeli

1     How good are you at persuading people to follow your point of view? A lobbyist is a person whose job it is to persuade government officials to pass legislation for their cause.
2     The term "lobbying" comes from a time in the early 1800s. People who wanted to speak with a member of Congress had to wait in the lobby of government buildings or meeting places. While waiting, they gained access to others within the government and discussed issues or policies of concern to them.
3     Although any citizen can technically be a lobbyist and discuss an issue with a legislator, professional lobbyists are paid to do the job of winning lawmakers over to their way of thinking. They work for special interest groups, who use some of their financial resources to hire professional lobbyists to speak for them. A special interest group is an organized group of people who share a common interest, goal, or belief. Independent lobbyists may represent three or four smaller interest groups. Larger interest groups may hire many lobbyists to represent their cause. According to The Princeton Review, there are 106,000 lobbyists in this country. Two major employers of lobbyists include Greenpeace and AARP (American Association of Retired Persons).

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